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Fyrnask: Eldir Nótt

Fyrnask is one of those bands that insists on its own authenticity, its commitment to the true spirit of black metal. As their promo materials state, black metal has always been "an instrument of change," one that pushes against the staid, the prosaic, the commercial. Nonetheless, black metal does attract a certain number of people who don't understand the larger purposes of the music. To them, it is something to exploit, a fad that may yield certain profits. To counter that side of things, Fyrnask hopes to capture the most authentic spirit of the music, one that infuses sound with the mysteries of the past, its ancient beliefs, practices, and rituals.

In the end, the music is what matters. It's hard to get black metal just right, especially in a crowded market in which far too many bands insist that they, and not others, are the most authentic.

Fortunately, Fyrnask is a good band that writes good music. I don't know that this album is my favorite black metal release, but it does not disappoint. The best thing about this album is the layering, the musical texture, that weaves itself through the music. Instead of offering up a relentless 50 minutes of black metal, this band counterbalances the rough edges with mysterious whispers, vocal chants, disembodied voices, and the like. This band blends black metal with something approaching ambience. The sounds they create, though, are right out of a Gothic movie, the kind where the protagonist must wander through dark passageways, armed only with a flashlight and a little faith. I highly recommend that interested listeners check out tracks like "Vigil" and "Suoannas sedir," two of the best tracks written in this ambient mood. Songs like those give Fyrnask an edge over other bands. Sure, there's something Romantic about it, but it's the Dark Romanticism of the 19th Century, the mood that saw beauty in ruins and poetry in melancholy. When the band turns to more traditional black metal tracks (listen, for example, to "Saltrian") they are often good, but lack some of the charm found on the other tracks. Do check out "Siaidha," though, for a nice mix of pounding drums and evil vocals.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Vigil
3. Jardheldr
4. Suonnas sedir
5. Saltrian
6. samas stigr
7. Siaidha
8. Sút

Added: December 21st 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1909
Language: english

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